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Paste's 10 Favorite Beers from February 2016

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Paste's 10 Favorite Beers from February 2016

When it comes to beer, there are a ton of choices out there, with more being added everyday. This year we’re trying something new, and rounding up some of our fave new finds each month. Some of the brews we did full reviews on, while others are just special gems we found on tap while we were out and about that we think you should know about.

Check out our favorite beers from January here.

By no means a comprehensive list of everything new that came out (we can only drink so much!), here are some of our favorites from February that we’d recommend you grabbing a pint of while you’re out with friends, or picking up a few bottles of at your local bottle shop.

Discover something new this month that you absolutely love? Be sure to tell us about it in the comments!


Breckenridge Barrel Aged 471 Double IPA
Style: Barrel-aged DIPA
ABV: 10.5%

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We got our hands on a bottle of Breckenridge’s Barrel Aged 471 Double IPA this month, and absolutely loved it. The mouthfeel is soft and silky, but not too rich. It all works together to create an incredibly enticing beer that is big and bold, but not over the top. We got ahold of the Simcoe dry-hopped brew for our review his month. The whiskey barrel covers up some of those hoppier notes you’d expect from a double IPA, but you can still find layers of pine and citrus under the barrel.


Tree House Brewing Company Green Review
Style: American IPA
ABV: 7.5%

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Tree House Brewing has only been around for less than four years, but it’s already pumping out some pretty fantastic brews. Green provides a hoppy bite on the back-end of every sip. Its ability to transition from straight juice to a resinous-malt backbone flawlessly is what makes Green so incredibly rounded. We gave the brew a 9.8/10.


Not Your Father’s Ginger Ale
Style: Herbed/Spiced beer
ABV: 5.9%

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You’ve probably heard of Small Town’s Not Your Father’s Root Beer. The alcoholic soda was one of the first to make a big splash. It’s pretty delicious, and the Ginger Ale follows its lead fairly well. Even better, the alcoholic soda can also be used as a mixer for cocktails you might be making, giving that Dark & Stormy or Whiskey and Ginger and extra kick.


Pliny the Younger
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 10.25%

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It’s that time again. Russian River released Pliny the Younger, its highly-coveted triple IPA, this month. In an interview prior to its release, brewmaster Vinnie Cilurzo told us that he thinks Younger is perhaps the closest the brewery has gotten to perfection for the beer. Russian River only brews 180 barrels of Younger each year, making it a beer that fans will line up for sometimes days in advance. If you happen to catch it on draft, make sure you grab a glass.


18th Street Brewery Jade
Style: American Pale Ale
ABV: 5.5%

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You may have heard about 18th Street in the last few years. Situated in the rather unlikely craft beer burg of Gary, Indiana, they’ve been making waves and have slowly become one of those “IT” breweries that people make a point out of bringing to bottle shares and similar beer geek peacocking functions. We tried Jade this month, and gave the beer a 7.8/10. It’s a classical American pale ale in construction, but with a twist: It specifically features Pacific Jade hops. On the palate, you’re greeted with lots of herbal flavors, and a bit of a musty maltiness, with mid-strength caramel and more toasted malt flavors as well. It’s a unique palette of flavors we recommend definitely trying out for yourself.


Burial Pinot Noir Haysaw Saison
Style: Saison/ Farmhouse Ale
ABV: 6.2%

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When you hear “Pinot Noir Saison,” you might think you’re going to be drinking a beer with a ton of wine flavor. That’s not the case with Burial’s Pinot Noir Haysaw Saison.Don’t expect a heavy dose of vinous wine flavor here, but what you can look forward to is a complex beer that offers a unique take on the saison/farmhouse style. There’s a depth of flavor that drinks more like a hybrid of a saison and a traditional Belgian ale rather than a straightforward farmhouse beer. If you’re a big fan of those traditional Belgian styles, but haven’t yet ventured into saisons, this is worth seeking out. We gave the beer an 8.5/10 when we reviewed it earlier this month.


The Abyss, Cognac Aged (Rye Whiskey/ 2015 Reserve)
Style: Barrel-aged Imperial Stout
ABV: 11.5%

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We tried three different versions of The Abyss this month: Cognac Aged, Rye Whiskey Aged, and the 2015 Reserve. Of the three, our fave was the version aged in Cognac barrels. It has a sweet, cordial-like nose, which makes sense because of the year spent in Cognac barrels, but the booze also comes through in the nose.


Fonta Flora MeeMaw
Style: American Wild Ale
ABV: 5.9%

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MeeMaw is a red wine barrel-aged sour with local wild cherries, Montmorency cherries and cherry wood. The nose sets you up for the first sip nicely, as the mixture of wild yeast funk and tart cherry flavors dance nicely on the palette. There’s a punch of sour at the front that fades to a flavorful blend of funkiness and fruit. If you like sour beers, there’s plenty of that here, but you can also taste the other ingredients along the way. Meemaw is a very drinkable wild ale, one that doesn’t leave you feeling like the enamel is being stripped from your teeth. We gave the brew a 9.2/10 when we reviewed it earlier this month.


And ah, hell, let’s do one more favorite. Because this list goes to 11.

Boneyard Beer Co. Bone-A-Fide Pale Ale
Style: American Pale Ale
ABV: 5.5%

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This baby won our massive blind pale ale taste test in February. Needless to say the competition was stiff, but Bone-A-Fide won over tasters, who gave this beer the very rare rating of “100.” To quote directly from that 100-point score sheet: “Gorgeous hop aroma/flavor. Huge floral, tropical fruit and honey malt flavors. Fan-damn-tastic.” Our own Jim Vorel goes on to say that the flavors in Bone-A-Fide aren’t just big, they’re staggeringly complex with waves of tropical fruit (pineapple, passionfruit) on the nose, along with citrus, but also an almost peppery spiciness. It’s sweet without being cloying, light of body without being watery, hugely flavorful while being drinkable. It barges in and puts your taste buds on notice. And that’s why this 10 item list goes to 11.


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